The Victory Lighthouse (Il Faro della Vittoria)
Port of Trieste - Trieste, Italy

The Victory Lighthouse is the second tallest lighthouse in the world after New York's Statue of Liberty. The most powerful lighthouse in Europe, it is an impressive work of the Triestine architect Arduino Berlam (1880-1946) and of the sculptor Giovanni Mayer (1863-1943). It rests on the foundation of a 19th century Austrian fortress. Besides lighting the Gulf of Trieste to help in navigation, it is a commemorative monument dedicated to all the sailors that were lost during World War I, as noted on the inscription:


The Victory Lighthouse has 200 or so steps to arrive at the top. There is a magnificent view of the whole of the gulf of Trieste, the city and part of the karstic coast. This lighthouse is thought to have the greatest range in Europe. Today, its function is much reduced from its original purpose but it remains one of the symbols of Venezia Giulia.


The idea of building this lighthouse came in 1918. With the old Lanterna by now was too small and hidden for the grown needs of Trieste, Berlam wanted to associate the need for a new lighthouse to the wish of the city to commemorate November 3, 1918, the date on which the Italian army entered into the city, and therefore the victory of the Italian Kingdom over the by now capitulated Austro-Hungarian Kingdom of the Hapsburg dynasty.

The Mound (or Hill) of Gretta (Poggio di Gretta) was chosen as its site since it provided a very good emplacement at 60 meters above sea-level and solid foundations in the round bastion earthwork of the former Austrian fort Kressich that had been built between 1854 and 1857. It lies off the Strada del Friuli, about 2 km (1.2 mi) north of the central city and waterfront.

The construction of the new lighthouse began on January 15, 1923 and ended on May 24,1927 with the inauguration in the presence of King Vittorio Emanuele lll. Thanks to the intervention of the Province of Trieste and with the help of the A.A.S.T. of Trieste, the lighthouse, which had been totally closed for seven years, was restored and reopened to the public on May 18,1986.

The present-day Victory Lighthouse.

The Lighthouse

The lighthouse is made up by a large base that includes the bastion earthworks of the Austrian fort. The lower part of the exterior is clad with stone blocks from the Carso (Gabrie, Doberḍ), and the upper part by Istrian stone from Orsera (now Oser), Istria. Above the column there is a capital that supports the "crow's nest", so defined with a clear reference to the ship mast, in which is inserted the bronze and crystal cage of the lantern covered by a copper dome decorated with a scale-like motif. On the tip of the dome stands the embossed copper statue of Victory designed by sculptor Giovanni Mayer and produced by Giovanni Srebot. horizon, also contrived by Mayer, and chiselled in 100 tons of stone from Orsera by Regolo Salandini. Under this statue is affixed the anchor of the torpedo-boat Audace, the first Italian ship that entered the port of Trieste on November 3,1918, which was donated by the Admiral Thaon di Revel, Navy minister, together with two projectiles of the Viribus Unitis, placed on both sides of the lighthouse entry.

The lantern

The lantern stand at about 130 meters above average sea-level and it is made up by a lighting body of an average power of 1,250,000 candles with a range of 34-35 miles. The optical engine completes a rotation around its axis every 45 seconds. The impressive stucture of the lighthouse, which weighs 8,000 tons in all, involved the use of 1,300 m3 of stone from Orsera and Gabrie, 2,000 m3 of concrete, and 11 wagon-loads of iron corresponding to 100 tons.

From the very beginning the Victory Lighthouse has used electric energy. In the event of a malfunction or a black out, a mechanism utilizing a combustible is always on standby readiness. Technically it is a "maritime semaphoric system", capable to regulate sea traffic. The complex, like all the lighthouses of the peninsula, is administered by the Military Navy with its own personnel.

The luminous body of the lantern is made up by a rotating optic that captures the light produced by a halogen lamp of 1000 watts through a complex system of lenses. The  lighthouse has a visibility of 30 maritime miles (1 maritime mile corresponds to 1,852 land km) in optimal viewing conditions. Every installation has a unique lighting characteristic that distinguishes from the others and by this fact navigators can easily pinpoint their precise position. The Victory Lighthouse uniquely emits two flashes and an eclipse in the time of ten seconds.

Revolving beason with the two Fresnel's lens (the pause between beams is 1.8 seconds).

Technical Data


L.H. 4376

Geographical coordinates

45° 40.5 ' North - 13° 45.4' East

Light type


Light frequency

Light 0.2" - pause 1.8" - light 02" - pause 7.8" = total 10 seconds


- 1,000 watt master light (i.e. "stacor")
- Sistema di trascinamento allarme e controllo ottica rotante
- Emergency P.R.B. podestal revolving beacon

Total height of the lighthouse

68.85 M.

Height of the lighthouse above sea-level

128.85 M.

Height of the focal plane from the sea

116 M.

Thickness of the extemal tobe (It. tabo)

from 1 to 3 M.

Thickness of the internal tobe (It. tabo)

00.20 M.

Depth of the stone facing

from 0.80 to 0.60 M.

Height of the statue of the Victory

7.20 M.

Height of the statue of the Seaman


The Victory statue on the top of the lighthouse during the "Barcolana" sail race.

Barcolana 2005 (above and below)


  • Trieste - Victory Lighthouse -
  • The Victory lighthouse of Trieste -
  • Barcolana photographs - (1) & (2)
  • Lanterna photo -
  • Lanterna images -
  • Other - Bibliography
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This page compliments of Marisa Ciceran

Created: Friday,  January 30, 2004; Last Updated: Monday, August 26, 2013
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